SIERRA LEONE: In Sierra Leone, Women Want Commission

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Awareness Times
Western Africa
Sierra Leone
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

Gender Specialist at the Sierra Leone Conference on Transformation and Development (SLCDT), Madam Naasu Fofanah has stated that one of the resolutions of the Women of Sierra Leone for the Transformative Conference slated to kick off this morning was a clarion call for the Government of Sierra Leone to establish a “Women's Commission” that will promote the advancement of women and girls in Sierra Leone. Madam Fofanah was amongst several women who made this call during the women's vigil held at the Miatta Conference Hall Car Park in Freetown on Sunday 29th January 2012 to mark the commencement of the SLCDT slated to commence on 30th January and expected to end on 1st February 2012.

According to the women, the commission will help to develop innovations that will eliminate political and economic inequality and violence against women and girls.
Madam Naasu Fofanah said the resolute call for an establishment of women's commission materialized following several debates on issues pertinent to the interest and future advancement of women and girls nationwide. She said women of this country believed that with the establishment of this commission, issues of societal troubles faced by women and girls would be solved. She expressed dismay that despite women formed 52% of the country's population they are still being marginalized and discriminated against in most areas such as politics and decision making. Madam Naasu Fofanah further expressed hope that the conference will enable Sierra Leone reflect and address the challenges of transformation and development for the next 25-50 year and that issues of women and girls would be integrated into the conference proceedings and later adopted as part of the actionable outcome of the conference. She used the forum to call on women to involve themselves actively in the conference and make their demands known to the Government and people of Sierra Leone.
The women also used the forum to urge parliament for the review of the 1991 Constitution and the proposed minimum 30% Quota for women in governance and leadership be enacted into law. The women further called on Government to ensure that women are trained for emerging and requisite jobs in mining sector, exercise their right without pressure put on them to relinquish such rights, an increase access to financial capital in terms of loans and financial service and access to information and networking.
Prayers for the successful completion of the conference and for the promotion of women's affairs in Sierra Leone and the lighting of the transformation candle climaxed the successful vigil.